Girl’s Awakening – Allegations against Miner who Took Marriage Lines

March 1919

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Saturday 01 March 1919

Girl’s Awakening.

Allegations against Miner who Took Marriage Lines

Heartless treatment of a young girl in, London was alleged at the West Riding Court at Doncaster yesterday, when Henry Duke, a miner, of Denaby, was charged with committing bigamy.

Emma, Ann Whatmore, of 32, Mace Street, Old Ford Road. London, who resides with her mother, stated that about the end of January, 1917, she was employed as a silk winder, and met the prisoner in Victoria Park Square, London. He was then a soldier, and gave the name of Henry Smith, stating that he was undergoing a course of cookery training in the Army. Some weeks after he went away, and when he returned she met him frequently, and corresponded with him about twice a week. About Christmas, 1917, she spoke to prisoner about her condition, and asked if he would marry her, and he said he could not until after the war. He promised to tell her the reason later. In reply to her question he said he was single, and told her that if she did not believe him she was to write to his sister, Mrs. Freeman, of Stewart Street, Doncaster. She took his statement for granted.

On May 28 last year she went through a form of marriage with him at a Registry Office in the parish of Bethnal Green, and afterwards he said he would take the marriage lines away with him, and see that the Army allowance was made. She saw him a week later at mother’s home in civilian attire, and he told her he had got his discharge to go and work in the pit at Doncaster. After he had gone away she received a letter from the prisoner signed “H. Duke.”

That was the first time she had known him in that name. She wrote and risked for an explanation, and got another letter. On July 9 she received 18s. from him in a registered letter. She received various sums from him, the largest being 30s.

In October last she saw him at her mother’s house, and it was then arranged that he should spend Christmas with her, but he did not carry out that arrangement, and in consequence she came to Doncaster on Boxing Day. She went to 20. Stewart Street, and saw prisoner’s sister, Mrs. Freeman. She also saw the prisoner, and they went for a walk together. During the week he said he was already a married man, and had three or five children, and ban spent Christmas at Denaby with his wife. Witness had a male child born on August 29.

In reply to prisoner, she admitted that she said she would do away with herself if he did not marry her.

Edith Sampson, 5, Wainwright ‘Road, Hyde Park, Doncaster, said prisoner’s wife’s name before marriage was Lizzie Yates, and her home was 17, Wellington Street., Hyde Park. Witness acted as bridesmaid at the wedding, which took place at Christ Church on April 12.

Police-constable Playfoot, of Conishro’, said when he arrested prisoner he replied; “It is true.

Elizabeth Duke, wife of the prisoner, living at 85, Loversall Street, Denaby, was called, but she was not asked to prove her marriage, though Mrs Sampson was re-called to identify her.

Prisoner was committed for trial at the West Riding Assizes.